Blown away

A restless wind –
South-west, heavy with salt
And smells of seaweed, storm-stripped from far-off islands –
Sets my mind flapping like luffed sails,
Every thought straining at its shrouds. Holding, just.

One rogue gust
And all could be torn loose,
Sent madly swirling miles inland
To wind up wound around
The cracked, barbed boughs of a gale-wrought pine
Way out of reach
And shredded beyond repair.


Back from the wilds of north-west Brittany with a notebook full of rough drafts, and a car full of sand and baguette crumbs. Sure signs of a good trip. N.



Grey poplars hiss displeasure
At this out-of-sync dishwater sky,
Mercury sliding, clouds on the ground.
Draggled wheat fields darken,
The shocked land losing hard-won riches
Laid down and laboured for.

And in the leaves’ wind-silvered sibilance
I hear the slow escape of summer:
A punctured season
And a long, slow road ahead.


Last little nature poem before I head off on holiday. And given the current state of Britain’s weather (awful) politics (shameful) and economic outlook (dreadful) I can safely, though sadly, say I have never been more ready to leave this shambolic, benighted country behind. All we can do is hope that things will improve come the autumn. A bientĂ´t, mes amis. N.